By Lucy Harvey
A talented artist has recreated a series of famous portraits – imagined with such incredible hyper-realism they look like photographs.
From Vincent van Gogh’s self portrait, a statue of Homer – and even God – Joongwon Jeong’s amazingly life-like images will have you staring in disbelief.
Joongwon Jeong, 31, travels the world always looking for people who he thinks resembles figures in the portraits and uses them for inspiration to recreate the image.
He said: “Hyperrealism, for me, is never about showing my painting skills- rather, it’s about giving viewers an experience of being confused, though momentarily, between the original and the copy, or the reality and the fiction.
“I create hyperrealistic recreations of figures from the past, whose likenesses are preserved only in the sculpted marbles or paintings with rough brush strokes or black-and-white photographs in low resolution.
“The aim is to come up with the starkly realistic portraiture so that it could convince the viewers into believing that such rendition could have been the actual, real-life appearance of a certain figure.
“Such blending of what is real and what is imaginative is what I get the most fun out of. And hopefully, the viewers would be entertained as well.”
Joongwon says that depending on the size of the painting, it can take from a couple of weeks to more than a whole year.
He added: “Once a character is chosen, I hire a real-life model who bears the similar facial features and place him or her under the certain light which I think would best suit the character.
“The rest of the process is a long, rather tedious labour of creating the portrait in minute detail.
“The overall shape and posture of the figure are taken directly from the marble sculpture or an old painting, while those human imperfections that make the face look real such as texture on the skin, eye colour, moles, liver spots and pimples are harvested from the real model.”
“To my deepest gratitude and delight, it has been received with much positive reactions from both the public and the serious collectors.